Farm Mania


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Rating: 4.4/5 (27 votes)
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Farm Mania

JohnBFarming used to seem like a chore, then the casual game market took hold and turned caring for crops into a resource management experience. Farm Mania is the latest of those games, following a similar path as Farm Frenzy 2 but keeping things fresh and interesting. Yes, it's yet another game with "mania" in the title, but the experience underneath is subtly different and twice as rewarding. And much cuter, I have to admit.

farmmania.jpgYoung Anna is on a quest to save her grandfather's farm. She starts with little more than a small vegetable patch and some pumpkin seeds but quickly expands to different crops, livestock and more. Each of the game's dozens of stages is arranged in the same circular fashion with a well and feed crops at the top along with sheep and other livestock/crops at the bottom. Your grandfather handles bringing up well water and harvesting feed, but its Anna's job to distribute everything, gather the goods, and send it to town to rake in the dough.

As in most time management games, Farm Mania is about structuring your tasks in the most efficient manner. Seeds need to be sown, watered, hoed for weeds and eventually harvested. Animals need food and water and will give up more expensive goods to sell (eggs, wool, etc.). A smart queueing system lets you string together countless jobs in a row, and when an animal needs food or a plant needs watering, clear icons appear over the target, making quick visual confirmation an easy task.

Each level is built around fulfilling a number of tasks such as selling four watermelons or raising three ducks to adulthood. Between levels you'll have the opportunity to buy new crops/livestock or upgrade your tools. If working against the clock isn't your thing, Farm Mania features a Casual Mode where the timer is removed, letting you focus on quality instead of quick clicking.

farmmania2.jpgAnalysis: Plenty of gameplay variations and a surprisingly long experience, Farm Mania delivers where a lot of resource management games fall short. Don't let the derivative name turn you away, this title's got plenty to offer under its catchy music and cute visuals.

The action gets fairly frantic a handful of levels in, and depending on how many crops you plant you'll be hard-pressed to keep everything content and productive. Pacing yourself is key, and once you unlock more items in the store, you can grab a few items that will help your job in a big way. The mini-games every half a dozen levels or so will also serve up a nice breather.

Even though Farm Mania doesn't stretch the mold in any direction, it's still one of the most entertaining resource management games around. The tag-team approach to farming where Anna and her grandfather split tasks between them opens a surprising number of options and forces you to juggle not one but two characters at once. It's challenging, but very rewarding, and of course, bucketloads of fun.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Farm Mania is available to download from these affiliates:
Big Fish Games

6 Comments

SonicLover Author Profile Page November 2, 2008 1:35 PM

I wish I was good at those time management games. I'm always overlooking something that needs to be done.

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Jens Alfke November 2, 2008 2:09 PM

Even the hot new board-game of the year, Agricola, is a farming sim, although a more elaborate one. Or maybe it just seems more elaborate because you have to track all the details yourself using little wooden cows and vegetables etc. instead of having the computer take care of it for you! It's also multi-player, of course, so there's extra strategy involved in competing with the other players for limited resources.

(I just played it for the first time yesterday - it's a great game, just be prepared to spend half an hour learning the rules, and about two hours playing.)

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SonicLover,

This game has thought bubbles on everything that tell you it needs something. It's really helpful in keeping up with everything. Resource management is my thing, though. I'm playing in Casual mode so I can just enjoy the game. Loving it!

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Tranchera Author Profile Page November 3, 2008 3:50 AM

Damn 60 minute trials!

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Now available for Mac! :D

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Anonymous January 30, 2010 8:34 PM

The game keeps cutting out on me. Have no trouble with first Farm Mania. Any suggestions?

[Edit: You've commented on the review for the first Farm Mania. If you're having trouble running any game, please contact customer support where you purchased the game. -Jay]

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